Three workshop graduates bring new poetry back to Iowa City

Chris Martin, Daniel Poppick and Adrienne Raphel

Prairie Lights — Wednesday, March 29 at 7 p.m.

Cover detail from Adrienne Raphel’s ‘What Was It For’

Three Iowa Writers’ Workshop alumni — Chris Martin, Daniel Poppick and Adrienne Raphel — return to their old haunt Prairie Lights on Wednesday, March 29 to read from their latest poetry collections.

Chris Martin’s third and most recent collection, The Falling Down Dance (Coffee House Press, 2015), engages a familiar venture among male poets — new fatherhood. But he takes this ubiquitous muse, placing it into the frenetic nature of the 21st century, with all consequences attached; the anticipations and admonitions for his newborn are set to winter, police brutality and Frank Ocean. Martin also serves as an editor for the small publishing house Futurepoem.

Daniel Poppick will release his debut collection, The Police (Omnidawn, 2017) at the turn of the month. The poems within chart a peripatetic language, shuffling the words we use in passing. From our homes to public spaces, Poppick’s syntax is as nebulous as the confrontations that arise between the voices from our bodies and the voices from our keyboards. He co-edits Catenary Press, a small press in Brooklyn dedicated to hand-assembled chapbooks.

What Was it For by Adrienne Raphel (Rescue Press, 2017) was selected by another workshop graduate, Cathy Park Hong, for the Black Box Poetry Prize from the small, Iowa City-based Rescue Press. Raphel’s debut is a return to earth. Her poems unabashedly stipple and spin the world surrounding as our landscape, just as human and consequential as the speaker of her poems. Raphel is also a regular contributor to The New Yorker.

This event is co-sponsored by the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and is ADA-accessible. The reading begins at 7 p.m. and is free to the public.

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